An Arbiter

Somebody’s not playing fair! So reasons Job, it would seem. Though Job never heard the exact words the Almighty spoke repeatedly to Satan, Job knew his own determination to be marked as a man who was blameless, upright, feared God, and shunned evil. And that such a man should be rewarded for such a righteous life seemed only right. The herds, the flocks, the quiver full of kids (Ps. 127:4-5)–it all seemed to be the appropriate outcome for someone who had determined to bless the name of the LORD with all his life. So how come he’s lost everything? How come he’s covered in painful sores? Why is he surrounded by such miserable comforters?

“How can a man be in the right before God?” asks Job (Job 9:2). Somebody’s not playing fair.

If I wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye, yet You will plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me. For He is not a man, as I am, that I might answer Him, that we should come to trial together. There is no arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both.

(Job 9:30-33 ESV)

Job laments that there is no arbiter. No one to act as a referee. He needs an umpire (NASB). Someone to step in between him and God, to lay his hands on both of them and say, “Break it up! Let’s get to the bottom of this.” A third party to intervene and make a call as to what’s right. He wants a judge to examine the facts and render a just verdict. Because no matter how righteous he thinks he is, obviously he’s missing something–or, perhaps, heaven is.

In my reading in Job, Job’s looking for an advocate. Then in my reading in 1 John, John reveals one.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

(1John 2:1-2 ESV)

Jesus Christ the righteous. The Advocate. Come to bring reconciliation between God and man. Sent to bring peace between Him who is Holy, Holy, Holy, and those who could never be holy enough.

Jesus the God-man. Deity incarnate. Taking on flesh that He might lay His hands on both heaven and earth. “Made like his brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17). Offering up His own body that the curtain might be rent and access made possible into the Holy of Holies. Shedding His own blood so that He who is just might also be the justifier (Rom. 3:24-26).

An arbiter. And arbitrate He has.

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified Him, . . . And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

(Luke 23: 33-34 ESV)

Yeah, somethings not fair. That the Son of God should die for the sin of men is not fair. Thank God for His unfairness!

An advocate. And advocate He does.

. . . He holds His priesthood permanently, because He continues forever. Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

(Hebrews 7:24-25 ESV)

Kept perfectly, completely, eternally because we have an Arbiter without beginning, nor end.

Job would eventually get his audience with the Almighty. And though he would never get an explanation as to the why of his suffering, because of the Advocate promised since the foundation of the world, he would know the Who of His salvation. He had his arbiter. And so do we.

Because of God’s “unfair” grace. All for God’s unfading glory!

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